Edward M. Kemble, the noted cartoonist and book illustrator, had no trouble taking sides in this prize fight between Republican Senators Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin and Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island. In this cartoon, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly on February 26, 1910, Uncle Sam is calling down from the Senate gallery to urge La Follette on to victory.
Wearing a sash that identifies him as "The Progressive Champion, " La Follette was still a freshman when he took on Aldrich, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, identified here as "The Machine Champion." La Follette fought against Aldrich’s currency bill, which he saw as an unjustifiable financial boon to business interests. The little challenger lost the battle, but by the end of the year Aldrich retired from the Senate and the tide turned toward reform.